The SoulBounce Q&A: All Cows Eat Grass Open About Who They Are, How They Keep It ‘Kool’ & Why They’re All About Love

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SB: You just mentioned The Kool Collection, which is your current project.

TB: Tell me you love it. Tell me you love it. You’ve got to love it, I know.

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SB: Oh my God, of course I love it, are you crazy? (laughter) What is that a trick question?

TB: (laughter) I just need to hear you say it, that’s all.

SB: Clearly that was a trick question, but yes, love it, need it, want it. All of that. (laughter)

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TB: Thank you so much.

SB: The Kool Collection is a new album, but it’s actually filled with older material that has been revamped and this is a re-issue from what I’m understanding. Tell us why you all decided to pull together your previous three EPs into this one collection and how the does The Kool Collection differ from the M.I.L.K. , Be Kool and Kool As Hail EPs?

TB: I think all of us should chime in on this one. But, I definitely think it was important to have everything on one project. Which, I think the cohesiveness of the one project versus separating them into three EPs. I heard Jeff mention recently it was like appetizers, but now we’ve put together the full meal, so you can feast, if you will. Everybody can chime in on this one because I think there are a lot of answers to that question.

RR: Yeah, definitely. It’s crazy, we’ve sat with this music. The first EP, M.I.L.K. , dropped on Terrence’s birthday in October of 2011. And then released Be Kool and Kool As Hail within 2012. It’s now 2014, and we’ve had these songs, I jam to them all the time. In my car, I would just be jamming along and in my room dancing. So, we came to a point where we started rehearsing because we wanted to get ready to perform this and once we started rehearsing we were listening to the music differently since we were actually doing it live. T got in the studio, did his magic and we revamped these songs. And like he said, we wanted to put it together as a full collection versus having three separate projects, three separate pieces.

JC: To add a little bit to it, from a managerial side, one thing we really believed was that these songs had a lot more life in them. When we went through the process in 2011 and 2012, it was very much like beta mode. We were trying to figure out our demographic and how people would respond to the songs, what was really going to stick. We took this information and the feel we had from the songs and really just wanted to give it another go and put it together. Another thing about the EPs is that they were just demos, when we put them out there wasn’t much direction. It was more, we have these songs and we’re going to just put them out. We really didn’t do a whole lot because we weren’t sure about anything, and that was the fun part about it, having this baby that was morphing on its own and you just kind of react to it. It allowed us to be reactive to it. Now that we have a good understanding of what this little monster is, we can service it a lot better.

SB: Sounds like you all were looking for some direction, maybe?

TB: In the spirit of transparency, we were doing some consulting with one of our advisors and he was like, ‘Hey man, this music is amazing and you need to re-release it.’ The release was so soft the first time. He was like you should definitely put this out. We were actually working on our next album and we were consulting him about that and he was like no, not yet, you need to put this stuff out. Reacquaint your fans to this music because it’s amazing and has a longer shelf-life than your realize. We decided to do that because we really like these songs, so we didn’t have any problem with doing this.

SB: Didn’t have to twist your arm.

TB: Exactly, not at all. And so, that’s how it happened more than anything.

SB: Well, that’s awesome. I’m glad the person you consulted with planted that seed because now you’re going to grow and flourish. Like I said, I’m loving The Kool Collection and from the feedback I’ve been hearing, other folks are loving it too. So, it’s good that this music has gotten a second life. I’m so glad you all decided to repackage it.

TB: Thank you so much.

SB: After The Kool Collection, what’s next? I know that this isn’t going to be it.

TB: Not at all.

SB: I’m assuming there is some new music on the way, so what’s the next year going to look like for you guys as far as your music is concerned?

JC: We are really excited. It makes us feel kinda old, but watching how the music and the music industry have changed over the years, it’s definitely become a more singles-based kind of world and an on-demand kind of world. People want to kind of binge. I’ve been putting out more releases and trying to put out more music to really give people a better understanding of what we’re doing. I think you’ll find more music coming very soon. In the next couple of quarters, you’ll find more music coming and a plethora of other things, too. We really are interested in inciting different artistic movements. It’s always really important to speak to the holistic man. When we put this music out it can be so freaking heavy that it can be used irresponsibly if the artist doesn’t explain himself. Black artists, in general, may not do as an amazing job of explaining themselves. That’s not to say that an artist must explain themselves, some of the best art of all time goes unexplained. Stonehenge, is a great example of art that hasn’t been explained. But, these are very serious times that we are dealing with, so it is very important that if you are saying something, that you have more explanation. As we can tell now, people are listening and reacting and doing things based on the music. My nieces are listening, our cousins are listening, so it’s important that we speak to different parts of people. So you’ll see some essays and some pieces of art that are inspired by the music. You’ll find some short films. We really want to try and broaden it out. You’ll see a lot of live shows in the next year.

TB: Yeah, that’s what I was going to say.

JC: The biggest thing is the live show and that’s probably the next thing that you’ll see, which is our live show on December 17th. That’s going to be the All Cows Eat Grass Dance Party. At the end of the day, the one thing that people need and they want is to dance, some way to shake off the oppression of the day. That’s really important. We’ve gone to so many places and been in environments where the people don’t speak our language, but the one thing they spoke was the universal language of love and music. So, for us, it’s really important to bring it to a city near you where it’s not a show, it’s a dance party. The idea is for a multi-genre, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural dance party, which just so happens to feature us doing a few minutes of what we can do from a live standpoint. It’s going to be a DJ focused, fun focused, dance focused party. That’s probably the biggest thing that you will see, ACEG shows, some more remixes and some new music.

SB: You actually brought up my next question, which is what can people expect at an All Cows Eat Grass live show and it sounds like you can expect the unexpected. (laughter) There’s gonna be a lot going on.

TB: A lot of energy.

RR: Definitely a lot of energy.

TB: Energy, glitter, confetti, girls, fun.

RR: Just kind of exposing how we are and how we live here at Pasture. Pasture is our creative space. It’s where we work, it’s where we have fun. It’s where we play, converse, debate, learn. So, with our dance parties, we definitely want to expose the fun part, but you’ll see a lot more collaboration and pieces where we want to get out all parts of Pasture, connecting with everybody and spreading that vibe.

SB: So, it sounds like the show might be a bit interactive as opposed to people just standing there and watching you guys on stage.

RR: Oh no, you can’t just stand there.

TB: No standing allowed, that’s not going to work.

RR: Yep, no parking on the dance floor.

SB: No parking on the dance floor (laughing).

JC: Yeah, you’ll get run over doing that. I think as we talk about The Kool Collection, one thing that you notice is that there is a very consistent pulse. We really try not to just leave it up to the consumer or to the person attending the show to be able to make a decision. You look at the best DJs and they are the ones who can get you off the wall. You look at the best songs, the best Stevie Wonder songs, the best Prince songs, the best Michael Jackson songs, they are the songs that get you into the middle of the dance floor. It’s kinda hard for us to talk about music without talking about stuff that incites you to do something. We aren’t really doing our job if we can’t make you move. I think that’s a strength with us, is our energy. That’s really the biggest asset we have as a band.

TB: Yeah.

SB: Okay, sounds like you all are really taking a lot of from the energy of say a Janelle Monáe live show. I saw her twice last year and I did not sit down once, simply could not stop moving. I mean, it was an experience. So, it sounds as if it will be piggybacking on that type of experience.

JC: Well, yeah. I think that there is definitely a great crossover because Terrence and Janelle have been working together for the last decade, and I’ve been producing the show for the last six years and Terrence has been MDing it for the last five years, so it’s a conversation. We look at a lot of different things — like a James Brown show, a Bruno Mars show, or a Katy Perry show, Of Montreal or Erykah Badu. People would be lying if they said they didn’t take from shows to kind of prove their point. We’ve traveled a lot and so I think you will see a lot of the energy of our favorite bands like Little Dragon, Empire of the Sun, MGMT. We are very much live show connoisseurs and we feel like we have one of the best MDs in the world. It’s not by chance that you see a type coming out between the Janelle show and our show. That’s the easiest way to have success in your show, by forcing the tempo and getting people off their asses.

TB: Yeah (chuckles).

SB: I’m sure you all will have no problem doing that because even aside from the Janelle Monáe live show, I’ve seen the Jaspects live as well and that was another show where I had ants in my pants and needed to dance. It so all the way live. Unfortunately, I don’t live in Atlanta so I won’t be able to make it to this particular show, but I encourage everyone who is within reasonable driving distance to do so.

JC: We are taking offers for next year. We know we are doing the SXSW. We have some stuff coming up in Charlotte and in Nashville. So, you won’t have to wait very long for see us in DC. We love Chocolate City and we love U Street. That’s something that you will see very soon is us trying to take this to more places because we love performing. Moving like Jaspects did and working the chiltin circuit and really getting in these close places and getting it sweaty and funky.

SB: So, a tour will be coming in 2015?

TB/RR/JC: Yes.

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